Google has announced that it’s dropping support altogether for devices running any OS older than Android 2.3.7 in an effort to persuade people to adopt more secure hardware.
Android 2.3.7 was released almost 10 years ago, on Sept. 21, 2011. While the security support for this particular platform ended long ago, users could still log in to various Google services. Starting Sept. 27, 2021, that will change.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to keep our users safe, Google will no longer allow sign-in on Android devices that run Android 2.3.7 or lower starting September 27, 2021,” states Google. “If you sign into your device after September 27, you may get username or password errors when you try to use Google products and services like Gmail, YouTube, and Maps.”
To be clear, the devices will continue to work, but users won’t be able to run any of the Google-owned services. The first thing that Android 2.3.7 users will notice is that they’ll receive a username or password error if they try to sign into their devices or to add an email or calendar account. The Google account is still there, but a minimum of Android 3.0+ will be required to access it. Google may soon pull the plug on this version as well.
The last estimate of the market share for Android 2.3.7, from 2020, puts this version at around 0.2%. It might not seem like much, but keep in mind that an estimated 3 billion active Android devices exist right now. That 0.2% market share means that around six million active Android devices are still running the 2.3.7 version.